The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Mistris Page, Mistris Ford, Master Page, Master Ford, Pistoll, Nim, Quickly, Host, Shallow.

Mist. Page.
What, haue scap'd Loue-letters in the
holly-day-time of my beauty, and am I now a subiect for
them? let me see?
Aske me no reason why I loue you, for though Loue vse
Reason for his precisian, hee admits him not for his Counsailour:
you are not yong, no more am I: goe to then,
there's simpathie: you are merry, so am I: ha, ha, then
there's more simpathie: you loue sacke, and so do I: would
you desire better simpathie? Let it suffice thee (Mistris
Page) at the least if the Loue of Souldier can suffice, that I
loue thee: I will not say pitty mee, 'tis not a Souldier-like
phrase; but I say, loue me: By me,
thine owne true Knight,
by day or night:
Or any kinde of light,
with all his might,
For thee to fight.
Iohn Falstaffe.
What a Herod of Iurie is this? O wicked, wicked world:
One that is well-nye worne to peeces with age / To show
himselfe a yong Gallant? What an vnwaied / Behauiour
hath this Flemish drunkard pickt (with / The Deuills
name) out of my conuersation, that he dares / In this
manner assay me? why, hee hath not beene thrice / In my
Company: what should I say to him? I was then / Frugall
of my mirth: (heauen forgiue mee:) why Ile / Exhibit a
Bill in the Parliament for the putting downe of men: how
shall I be reueng'd on him? for reueng'd I will be? as
sure as his guts are made of puddings.


Mis Ford.
Mistris Page, trust me, I was going to
your house.

Mis Page.
And trust me, I was comming to you:
you looke very ill.

Mis. Ford.
Nay, Ile nere beleeee that; I haue to
shew to the contrary.

Mis. Page.
'Faith but you doe in my minde.

Mis. Ford.
Well: I doe then: yet I say, I could shew
you to the contrary: O Mistris Page, giue mee some
counsaile.

Mis. Page.
What's the matter, woman?

Mi. Ford.
O woman: if it were not for one trifling
respect, I could come to such honour.

Mi. Page.
Hang the trifle (woman) take the honour:
what is it? dispence with trifles: what is it?

Mi. Ford.
If I would but goe to hell, for an eternall
moment, or so: I could be knighted.

Mi. Page.
What thou liest? Sir Alice Ford? these
Knights will hacke, and so thou shouldst not alter the
article of thy Gentry.

Mi. Ford.
Wee burne day-light: heere, read, read:
perceiue how I might bee knighted, I shall thinke the
worse of fat men, as long as I haue an eye to make
difference of mens liking: and yet hee would not sweare:
praise womens modesty: and gaue such orderly and
wel-behaued reproofe to al vncomelinesse, that I would
haue sworne his disposition would haue gone to the
truth of his words: but they doe no more adhere and keep
place together, then the hundred Psalms to the tune of
Greensleeues: What tempest (I troa) threw this Whale,
(with so many Tuns of oyle in his belly) a'shoare at Windsor?
How shall I bee reuenged on him? I thinke the best way
were, to entertaine him with hope, till the wicked fire of
lust haue melted him in his owne greace: Did you euer
heare the like?

Mis. Page.
Letter for
letter; but that the name of Page and Ford differs: to thy
great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, heere's the
twyn-brother of thy Letter: but let thine inherit first, for
I protest mine neuer shall: I warrant he hath a thousand
of these Letters, writ with blancke-space for different names
(sure more): and these are of the second edition: hee
will print them out of doubt: for he cares not what hee
puts into the presse, when he would put vs two: I had
rather be a Giantesse, and lye vnder Mount Pelion: Well;
I will find you twentie lasciuious Turtles ere one chaste
man.

Mis. Ford.
Why this is the very same: the very
hand: the very words: what doth he thinke of vs?

Mis. Page.
Nay I know not: it makes me almost
readie to wrangle with mine owne honesty: Ile entertaine
my selfe like one that I am not acquainted withall: for sure
vnlesse hee know some straine in mee, that I know not
my selfe, hee would neuer haue boorded me in this furie.

Mi. Ford.
Boording, call you it? Ile bee sure to
keepe him aboue decke.

Mi. Page.
So will I: if hee come vnder my hatches,
Ile neuer to Sea againe: Let's bee reueng'd on him: let's
appoint him a meeting: giue him a show of comfort in
his Suit, and lead him on with a fine baited delay, till hee
hath pawn'd his horses to mine Host of the Garter.

Mi. Ford.
Nay, I wil consent to act any villany
against him, that may not sully the charinesse of our
honesty: oh that my husband saw this Letter: it would
giue eternall food to his iealousie.

Mis. Page.
Why look where he comes; and my good
man too: hee's as farre from iealousie, as I am from giuing
him cause, and that (I hope) is an vnmeasurable
distance.

Mis. Ford.
You are the happier woman.

Mis. Page.
Let's consult together against this greasie
Knight: Come hither.

Ford.
Well: I hope, it be not so.

Pist.
Hope is a curtall-dog in some affaires:
Sir Iohn affects thy wife.

Ford.
Why sir, my wife is not young.

Pist.
He wooes both high and low, both rich & poor,
both yong and old, one with another (Ford)
he loues the Gally-mawfry (Ford) perpend.

Ford.
Loue my wife?

Pist.
With liuer, burning hot: preuent: / Or goe thou
like Sir Acteon he, with / Ring-wood at thy heeles:
O, odious is the name.

Ford.
What name Sir?

Pist.
The horne I say: Farewell:
Take heed, haue open eye, for theeues doe foot by night.
Take heed, ere sommer comes, or Cuckoo-birds do sing.
Away sir Corporall Nim:
Beleeue it (Page) he speakes sence.

Ford.

I will be patient: I will find out this.

Nim.

And this is true: I like not the humor of
lying: hee hath wronged mee in some humors: I should
haue borne the humour'd Letter to her: but I haue a
sword: and it shall bite vpon my necessitie: he loues your
wife; There's the short and the long: My name is
Corporall Nim: I speak, and I auouch; 'tis true: my name
is Nim: and Falstaffe loues your wife: adieu, I loue not
the humour of bread and cheese:
adieu.

Page.
The humour of it (quoth 'a?) heere's a fellow frights
English out of his wits.

Ford.
I will seeke out Falstaffe.

Page.

I neuer heard such a drawling-affecting
rogue.

Ford.
If I doe finde it: well.

Page.

I will not beleeue such a Cataian, though the
Priest o'th'Towne commended him for a true man.

Ford.
'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.

Page.
How now Meg?

Mist. Page.
Whether goe you (George?) harke you.

Mis. Ford.
How now (sweet Frank) why art thou
melancholy?

Ford.
I melancholy? I am not melancholy: Get you home:
goe.

Mis. Ford.
Faith, thou hast some crochets in thy
head, / Now: will you goe, Mistris Page?

Mis. Page.
Haue with you: you'll come to dinner
George?
Looke who comes yonder: shee
shall bee our Messenger to this paltrie Knight.

Mis. Ford.
Trust me, I
thought on her: shee'll fit it.

Mis. Page.
You are come to see my daughter Anne?

Qui.
I forsooth: and I pray how do's
good Mistresse Anne?

Mis Page.
Go in with vs and see: we haue an
houres talke with you.

Page.
How now Master Ford?

For.
You heard what this knaue told me, did you not?

Page.
Yes, and you heard what the other told me?

Ford.
Doe you thinke there is truth in them?

Pag.
Hang 'em slaues: I doe not thinke the Knight would
offer it: But these that accuse him in his intent towards
our wiues, are a yoake of his discarded men: very rogues,
now they be out of seruice.

Ford.
Were they his men?

Page.
Marry were they.

Ford.
I like it neuer the beter for that, / Do's he lye at the
Garter?

Page.
I marry do's he: if hee should intend this voyage
toward my wife, I would turne her loose to him; and
what hee gets more of her, then sharpe words, let it lye on
my head.

Ford.
I doe not misdoubt my wife: but I would bee loath
to turne them together: a man may be too confident: I
would haue nothing lye on my head: I cannot be thus
satisfied.


Page.
Looke where my ranting-Host of the Garter comes:
there is eyther liquor in his pate, or mony in his purse,
when hee lookes so merrily: How now mine Host?

Host.
How now Bully-Rooke: thou'rt a Gentleman

Caueleiro Iustice, I say.


Shal.
I follow, (mine Host) I follow: Good-euen, and
twenty (good Master Page.) Master Page, wil you go with
vs? we haue sport in hand.

Host.
Tell him Caueleiro-Iustice: tell him Bully-Rooke.

Shall.
Sir, there is a fray to be fought, betweene Sir
Hugh the Welch Priest, and Caius the French Doctor.

Ford.
Good mine Host o'th' Garter: a word with you.

Host.
What saist thou, my Bully-Rooke?

Shal.
Will you goe with vs to behold it?
My merry Host hath had the measuring of their weapons;
and (I thinke) hath appointed them contrary places: for
(beleeue mee) I heare the Parson is no Iester: harke, I will
tell you what our sport shall be.

Host.
Hast thou no suit against my Knight? my guest-
Caualeire?

Shal.
None, I protest: but Ile giue you a pottle of burn'd
sacke, to giue me recourse to him, and tell him my name is
Broome: onely for a iest.

Host.
My hand, (Bully:) thou shalt haue egresse and
regresse, (said I well?) and thy name shall be Broome.
It is a merry Knight: will you goe An-heires?

Shal.
Haue with you mine Host.

Page.
I haue heard the French-man hath good skill in his
Rapier.

Shal.
Tut sir: I could haue told you more: In these
times you stand on distance: your Passes, Stoccado's,
and I know not what: 'tis the heart (Master Page)
'tis heere, 'tis heere: I haue seene the time, with my long-
sword, I would haue made you fowre tall fellowes skippe like
Rattes.

Host.
Heere boyes, heere, heere: shall we wag?

Page.
Haue with you: I had rather heare them scold, then
fight.

Ford.
Though Page be a secure foole, and stands so firmely
on his wiues frailty; yet, I cannot put-off my opinion so
easily: she was in his company at Pages house: and what
they made there, I know not. Well, I wil looke further
into't, and I haue a disguise, to sound Falstaffe; if I finde
her honest, I loose not my labor: if she be otherwise,
'tis labour well bestowed.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Falstaffe, Pistoll, Robin, Quickly, Bardolffe, Ford.

Fal.
I will not lend thee a penny.

Pist.
Why then the world's mine Oyster,
which I, with sword will open.

Fal.
Not a penny: I haue beene content (Sir,) you
should lay my countenance to pawne: I haue grated vpon
my good friends for three Repreeues for you, and your
Coach-fellow Nim; or else you had look'd through the
grate, like a Geminy of Baboones: I am damn'd in hell,
for swearing to Gentlemen my friends, you were good
Souldiers, and tall-fellowes. And when Mistresse Briget
lost the handle of her Fan, I took't vpon mine honour thou
hadst it not.

Pist.
Didst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteene pence?

Fal.
Reason, you roague, reason: thinkst thou
Ile endanger my soule, gratis? at a word, hang no more
about mee, I am no gibbet for you: goe, a short knife,
and a throng, to your Mannor of Pickt-hatch: goe, you'll
not beare a Letter for mee you roague? you stand vpon
your honor: why, (thou vnconfinable basenesse) it is
as much as I can doe to keepe the termes of my honor
precise: I, I, I my selfe sometimes, leauing the feare of
heauen on the left hand, and hiding mine honor in my
necessity, am faine to shufflle: to hedge, and to lurch, and
yet, you Rogue, will en-sconce your raggs; your
Cat-a-Mountaine-lookes, your red-lattice phrases, and your
bold-beating-oathes, vnder the shelter of your honor?
you will not doe it? you?

Pist.
I doe relent: what would thou more of man?

Robin.
Sir, here's a woman would speake with you.

Fal.
Let her approach.


Qui.
Giue your worship good morrow.

Fal.
Good-morrow, good-wife.

Qui.
Not so and't please your worship.

Fal.
Good maid then.

Qui.
Ile be sworne,
As my mother was the first houre I was borne.

Fal.
I doe beleeue the swearer; what with me?

Qui.
Shall I vouch-safe your worship a
word, or two?

Fal.
Two thousand (faire woman) and ile vouchsafe
thee the hearing.

Qui.
There is one Mistresse Ford, (Sir)
I pray come a little neerer this waies: I my selfe dwell
with M. Doctor Caius:

Fal.
Well, on; Mistresse Ford, you say.

Qui.
Your worship saies very true: I
pray your worship come a little neerer this waies.

Fal.
I warrant thee, no-bodie heares:
mine owne people, mine owne people.

Qui.
Are they so? heauen-blesse them, and
make them his Seruants.

Fal.
Well; Mistresse Ford, what of her?

Qui.
Why, Sir; shee's a good-creature;
Lord, Lord, your Worship's a wanton: well: heauen forgiue
you, and all of vs, I pray ---.

Fal.
Mistresse Ford: come, Mistresse Ford.

Qui.
Marry this is the short, and the long
of it: you haue brought her into such a Canaries, as 'tis
wonderfull: the best Courtier of them all (when the
Court lay at Windsor) could neuer haue brought her to
such a Canarie: yet there has beene Knights, and Lords,
and Gentlemen, with their Coaches; I warrant you Coach
after Coach, letter after letter, gift after gift, smelling so
sweetly; all Muske, and so rushling, I warrant you, in
silke and golde, and in such alligant termes, and in such
wine and suger of the best, and the fairest, that would
haue wonne any womans heart: and I warrant you, they
could neuer get an eye-winke of her: I had my selfe twentie
Angels giuen me this morning, but I defie all Angels (in
any such sort, as they say) but in the way of honesty:
and I warrant you, they could neuer get her so much
as sippe on a cup with the prowdest of them all, and yet
there has beene Earles: nay, (which is more) Pentioners,
but I warrant you all is one with her.

Fal.
But what saies shee to mee? be briefe my good
shee-Mercurie.

Qui.
Marry, she hath receiu'd your
Letter: for the which she thankes you a thousand times;
and she giues you to notifie, that her husband will be
absence from his house, betweene ten and eleuen.

Fal.
Ten, and eleuen.

Qui.
I, forsooth: and then you may
come and see the picture (she sayes) that you wot of:
Master Ford her husband will be from home: alas,
the sweet woman leades an ill life with him: hee's a very
iealousie-man; she leads a very frampold life with him,
(good hart.)

Fal.
Ten, and eleuen. Woman, commend me to her,
I will not faile her.

Qui.
Why, you say well: But I haue
another messenger to your worship: Mistresse Page
hath her heartie commendations to you to: and let mee
tell you in your eare, shee's as fartuous a ciuill modest
wife, and one (I tell you) that will not misse you morning
nor euening prayer, as any is in Windsor, who ere bee
the other: and shee bade me tell your worship, that her
husband is seldome from home, but she hopes there will
come a time. I neuer knew a woman so doate vpon a
man; surely I thinke you haue charmes, la: yes in
truth.

Fal.
Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of
my good parts aside, I haue no other charmes.

Qui.
Blessing on your heart for't.

Fal.
But I pray thee tell me this: has Fords wife,
and Pages wife acquainted each other, how they loue
me?

Qui.
That were a iest indeed: they haue
not so little grace I hope, that were a tricke indeed:
But Mistris Page would desire you to send her your
little Page of al loues: her husband has a maruellous
infectiõ to the little Page: and truely Master Page is an
honest man: neuer a wife in Windsor leades a better
life then she do's: doe what shee will, say what she will,
take all, pay all, goe to bed when she list, rise when she
list, all is as she will: and truly she deserues it; for if
there be a kinde woman in Windsor, she is one: you must
send her your Page, no remedie.

Fal.
Why, I will.

Qu.
Nay, but doe so then, and looke
you, hee may come and goe betweene you both: and in any
case haue a nay-word, that you may know one anothers
minde, and the Boy neuer neede to vnderstand any thing;
for 'tis not good that children should know any wickednes:
olde folkes you know, haue discretion, as they say,
and know the world.

Fal.
Farethee-well, commend mee to them both:
there's my purse, I am yet thy debter: Boy, goe along
with this woman,
this newes distracts me.

Pist.

This Puncke is one of Cupids Carriers,
Clap on more sailes, pursue: vp with your sights:
Giue fire: she is my prize, or Ocean whelme them all.

Fal.
Saist thou so (old Iacke) go thy waies: Ile
make more of thy olde body then I haue done: will they
yet looke after thee? wilt thou after the expence of so
much money, be now a gainer? good Body, I thanke
thee: let them say 'tis grossely done, so it bee fairely done,
no matter.

Bar.
Sir Iohn, there's one Master Broome below
would faine speake with you, and be acquainted with
you; and hath sent your worship a mornings draught
of Sacke.

Fal.
Broome is his name?

Bar.
I Sir.

Fal.
Call him in:
such Broomes are welcome to mee, that ore'flowes such
liquor: ah ha, Mistresse Ford and Mistresse Page, haue I
encompass'd you? goe to, via.

Ford.
'Blesse you sir.

Fal.
And you sir: would you speake with me?

Ford.
I make bold, to presse, with so little preparation vpon
you.

Fal.
You'r welcome, what's your will?
giue vs leaue Drawer.


Ford.
Sir, I am a Gentleman that haue spent much, my
name is Broome.

Fal.
Good Master Broome, I desire more acquaintance
of you.

Ford.
Good Sir Iohn, I sue for yours: not to charge
you, for I must let you vnderstand, I thinke my selfe in
better plight for a Lender, then you are: the which hath
something emboldned me to this vnseason'd intrusion:
for they say, if money goe before, all waies doe lye open.

Fal.
Money is a good Souldier (Sir) and will on.

Ford.
Troth, and I haue a bag of money heere troubles me:
if you will helpe to beare it (Sir Iohn) take all, or halfe, for
easing me of the carriage.

Fal.
Sir, I know not how I may deserue to bee your
Porter.

Ford.
I will tell you sir, if you will giue mee the hearing.

Fal.
Speake (good Master Broome) I shall be glad to
be your Seruant.

Ford.
Sir, I heare you are a Scholler: (I will be briefe with
you) and you haue been a man long knowne to me,
though I had neuer so good means as desire, to make
my selfe acquainted with you. I shall discouer a thing to
you, wherein I must very much lay open mine owne
imperfection: but (good Sir Iohn) as you haue one
eye vpon my follies, as you heare them vnfolded, turne
another into the Register of your owne, that I may passe
with a reproofe the easier, sith you your selfe know how
easie it is to be such an offender.

Fal.
Very well Sir, proceed.

Ford.
There is a Gentlewoman in this Towne, her husbands
name is Ford.

Fal.
Well Sir.

Ford.
I haue long lou'd her, and I protest to you,
bestowed much on her: followed her with a doating
obseruance: Ingross'd opportunities to meete her: fee'd
euery slight occasion that could but nigardly giue mee
sight of her: not only bought many presents to giue her,
but haue giuen largely to many, to know what shee would
haue giuen: briefly, I haue pursu'd her, as Loue hath
pursued mee, which hath beene on the wing of all
occasions: but whatsoeuer I haue merited, either in my
minde, or in my meanes, meede I am sure I haue receiued
none, vnlesse Experience be a Iewell, that I haue
purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught mee to
say this,
"Loue like a shadow flies, when substance Loue pursues,
"Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.

Fal.
Haue you receiu'd no promise of satisfaction
at her hands?

Ford.
Neuer.

Fal.
Haue you importun'd her to such a purpose?

Ford.
Neuer.

Fal.
Of what qualitie was your loue then?

Ford.
Like a fair house, built on another mans ground, so
that I haue lost my edifice, by mistaking the place, where
I erected it.

Fal.
To what purpose haue you vnfolded this to me?

For.
When I haue told you that, I haue told you all:
Some say, that though she appeare honest to mee, yet
in other places shee enlargeth her mirth so farre, that there
is shrewd construction made of her. Now (Sir Iohn)
here is the heart of my purpose: you are a gentleman of
excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great
admittance, authenticke in your place and person, generally
allow'd for your many war-like, court-like, and learned
preparations.

Fal.
O Sir.

Ford.
Beleeue it, for you know it: there is money, spend
it, spend it, spend more; spend all I haue, onely giue me
so much of your time in enchange of it, as to lay an
amiable siege to the honesty of this Fords wife: vse
your Art of wooing; win her to consent to you: if any
man may, you may as soone as any.

Fal.
Would it apply well to the vehemency of your
affection that I should win what you would enioy?
Methinkes you prescribe to your selfe very preposterously.

Ford.
O, vnderstand my drift: she dwells so securely on
the excellency of her honor, that the folly of my soule
dares not present it selfe: shee is too bright to be look'd
against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in
my hand; my desires had instance and argument to
commend themselues, I could driue her then from the
ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow,
and a thousand other her defences, which now are too-
too strongly embattaild against me: what say you too't,
Sir Iohn?

Fal.
Master Broome, I will first make bold with your
money: next, giue mee your hand: and last, as I am a
gentleman, you shall, if you will, enioy Fords wife.

Ford.
O good Sir.

Fal.
I say you shall.

Ford.
Want no money (Sir Iohn) you shall want none.

Fal.
Want no Mistresse Ford (Master Broome) you
shall want none: I shall be with her (I may tell you) by
her owne appointment, euen as you came in to me, her
assistant, or goe-betweene, parted from me: I say I shall
be with her betweene ten and eleuen: for at that time
the iealious-rascally-knaue her husband will be forth:
come you to me at night, you shall know how I speed.

Ford.
I am blest in your acquaintance: do you know
Ford Sir?

Fal.
Hang him (poore Cuckoldly knaue) I know him
not: yet I wrong him to call him poore: They say the
iealous wittolly-knaue hath masses of money, for the
which his wife seemes to me well-fauourd: I will vse
her as the key of the Cuckoldly-rogues Coffer, &
ther's my haruest-home.

Ford.
I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might auoid
him, if you saw him.

Fal.
Hang him, mechanicall-salt-butter rogue; I wil
stare him out of his wits: I will awe-him with my cudgell:
it shall hang like a Meteor ore the Cuckolds horns:
Master Broome, thou shalt know, I will predominate ouer
the pezant, and thou shalt lye with his wife. Come to
me soone at night: Ford's a knaue, and I will aggrauate
his stile: thou (Master Broome) shalt know him for
knaue, and Cuckold. Come to me soone at night.

Ford.
What a damn'd Epicurian-Rascall is this? my heart
is ready to cracke with impatience: who saies this is
improuident iealousie? my wife hath sent to him, the
howre is fixt, the match is made: would any man haue
thought this? see the hell of hauing a false woman: my
bed shall be abus'd, my Coffers ransack'd, my reputation
gnawne at, and I shall not onely receiue this villanous
wrong, but stand vnder the adoption of abhominable
termes, and by him that does mee this wrong:
Termes, names: Amaimon sounds well: Lucifer, well:
Barbason, well: yet they are Diuels additions, the names
of fiends: But Cuckold, Wittoll, Cuckold? the Diuell
himselfe hath not such a name. Page is an Asse, a secure
Asse; hee will trust his wife, hee will not be iealous: I will
rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the
Welsh-man with my Cheese, an Irish-man with my
Aqua-vitae-bottle, or a Theefe to walke my ambling gelding,
then my wife with her selfe. Then she plots, then shee
ruminates, then shee deuises: and what they thinke in
their hearts they may effect; they will breake their
hearts but they will effect. Heauen bee prais'd for my
iealousie: eleuen o'clocke the howre, I will preuent this,
detect my wife, bee reueng'd on Falstaffe, and laugh at
Page. I will about it, better three houres too soone, then a
mynute too late: fie, fie, fie: Cuckold, Cuckold, Cuckold.
Exti.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Caius, Rugby, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host.

Caius.
Iacke Rugby.

Rug.
Sir.

Caius.
Vat is the clocke, Iack.

Rug.
'Tis past the howre (Sir) that Sir Hugh promis'd
to meet.

Cai.
By gar, he has saue his soule, dat he is no-come: hee
has pray his Pible well, dat he is no-come: by gar (Iack
Rugby) he is dead already, if he be come.

Rug.
Hee is wise Sir: hee knew your worship would kill
him if he came.

Cai.
By gar, de herring is no dead, so as I vill kill him:
take your Rapier, (Iacke) I vill tell you how I vill kill him.

Rug.
Alas sir, I cannot fence.

Cai.
Villanie, take your Rapier.

Rug.
Forbeare: heer's company.


Host.
'Blesse thee, bully-Doctor.

Shal.
'Saue you Mr. Doctor Caius.

Page.
Now good Mr. Doctor.

Slen.
'Giue you good-morrow, sir.

Caius.
Vat be all you one, two, tree, fowre, come for?

Host.
To see thee fight, to see thee foigne, to see thee
trauerse, to see thee heere, to see thee there, to see thee
passe thy puncto, thy stock, thy reuerse, thy distance,
thy montant: Is he dead, my Ethiopian? Is he dead,
my Francisco? ha Bully? what saies my Esculapius?
my Galien? my heart of Elder? ha? is he dead bully-
Stale? is he dead?

Cai.
By gar, he is de Coward-Iack-Priest of de vorld: he
is not show his face.

Host.
Thou art a Castalion-king-Vrinall: Hector of
Greece (my Boy)

Cai.
I pray you beare witnesse, that me haue stay, sixe or
seuen, two tree howres for him, and hee is no-come.

Shal.
He is the wiser man (M. Docto)rhe is a
curer of soules, and you a curer of bodies: if you should
fight, you goe against the haire of your professions: is it
not true, Master Page?

Page.
Master Shallow; you haue your selfe beene a great
fighter, though now a man of peace.

Shal.
Body-kins M. Page, though I now be old,
and of the peace; if I see a sword out, my finger itches
to make one: though wee are Iustices, and Doctors, and
Church-men (M. Page) wee haue some salt of our
youth in vs, we are the sons of women (M. Page.)

Page.
'Tis true, Mr. Shallow.

Shal.
It wil be found so, (M. Page:) M.
Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home: I am
sworn of the peace: you haue show'd your selfe a wise
Physician, and Sir Hugh hath showne himselfe a wise and
patient Church-man: you must goe with me, M.
Doctor.

Host.
Pardon, Guest-Iustice; a Mounseur
Mocke-water.

Cai.
Mock-vater? vat is dat?

Host.
Mock-water, in our English tongue, is Valour (Bully.)

Cai.
By gar, then I haue as much Mock-vater as de
Englishman: scuruy-Iack-dog-Priest: by gar, mee vill cut
his eares.

Host.
He will Clapper-claw thee tightly (Bully.)

Cai.
Clapper-de-claw? vat is dat?

Host.
That is, he will make thee amends.

Cai.
By-gar, me doe looke hee shall clapper-de-claw me,
for by-gar, me vill haue it.

Host.
And I will prouoke him to't, or let him wag.

Cai.
Me tanck you for dat.

Host.
And moreouer, (Bully) but first,
Mr. Ghuest, and M. Page, & eeke Caualeiro
Slender, goe you through the Towne to Frogmore.

Page.
Sir Hugh is there, is he?

Host.
He is there, see what humor he is in: and I will
bring the Doctor about by the Fields: will it doe well?

Shal.
We will doe it.

All.
Adieu, good M.
Doctor.

Cai.
By-gar, me vill kill de Priest, for he speake for a
Iack-an-Ape to Anne Page.

Host.
Let him die: sheath thy impatience: throw cold
water on thy Choller: goe about the fields with mee
through Frogmore, I will bring thee where Mistris
AnnePage is, at a Farm-house a Feasting: and thou shalt
wooe her: Cride-game, said I well?

Cai.
By-gar, mee dancke you vor dat: by gar I loue you:
and I shall procure 'a you de good Guest: de Earle, de
Knight, de Lords, de Gentlemen, my patients.

Host.
For the which, I will be thy aduersary toward
Anne Page: said I well?

Cai.
By-gar, 'tis good: vell said.

Host.
Let vs wag then.

Cai.
Come at my heeles, Iack Rugby.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Mistress Page, with a letter

MISTRESS PAGE
What, have I 'scaped love-letters in the
holiday time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for
them? Let me see.
(She reads)
Ask me no reason why I love you, for though Love use
Reason for his precisian, he admits him not for his counsellor.
You are not young, no more am I. Go to, then,
there's sympathy. You are merry, so am I. Ha, ha, then
there's more sympathy. You love sack, and so do I. Would
you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress
Page – at the least if the love of soldier can suffice – that I
love thee. I will not say, pity me – 'tis not a soldier-like
phrase – but I say, love me. By me,
Thine own true knight,
By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight,
John Falstaff
What a Herod of Jewry is this! O, wicked wicked world!
One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show
himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour
hath this Flemish drunkard picked – with the devil's
name! – out of my conversation, that he dares in this
manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my
company. What should I say to him? I was then frugal
of my mirth – heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a
bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How
shall I be revenged on him? For revenged I will be, as
sure as his guts are made of puddings.
Enter Mistress Ford

MISTRESS FORD
Mistress Page! Trust me, I was going to
your house.

MISTRESS PAGE
And, trust me, I was coming to you.
You look very ill.

MISTRESS FORD
Nay, I'll ne'er believe that. I have to
show to the contrary.

MISTRESS PAGE
Faith, but you do, in my mind.

MISTRESS FORD
Well, I do then. Yet I say I could show
you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some
counsel.

MISTRESS PAGE
What's the matter, woman?

MISTRESS FORD
O woman, if it were not for one trifling
respect, I could come to such honour.

MISTRESS PAGE
Hang the trifle, woman, take the honour.
What is it? Dispense with trifles. What is it?

MISTRESS FORD
If I would but go to hell for an eternal
moment or so, I could be knighted.

MISTRESS PAGE
What? Thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These
knights will hack, and so thou shouldst not alter the
article of thy gentry.

MISTRESS FORD
We burn daylight. Here, read, read.
Perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the
worse of fat men as long as I have an eye to make
difference of men's liking. And yet he would not swear;
praised women's modesty; and gave such orderly and
well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness that I would
have sworn his disposition would have gone to the
truth of his words. But they do no more adhere and keep
place together than the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of
‘ Greensleeves.’ What tempest, I trow, threw this whale,
with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor?
How shall I be revenged on him? I think the best way
were to entertain him with hope till the wicked fire of
lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever
hear the like?

MISTRESS PAGE
(comparing the two letters)
Letter for
letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs. To thy
great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the
twin-brother of thy letter. But let thine inherit first, for
I protest mine never shall. I warrant he hath a thousand
of these letters, writ with blank space for different names
– sure, more, – and these are of the second edition. He
will print them, out of doubt; for he cares not what he
puts into the press, when he would put us two. I had
rather be a giantess and lie under Mount Pelion. Well,
I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste
man.
She gives her letter to Mistress Ford

MISTRESS FORD
Why, this is the very same: the very
hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?

MISTRESS PAGE
Nay, I know not. It makes me almost
ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain
myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure,
unless he know some strain in me that I know not
myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.

MISTRESS FORD
‘ Boarding ’ call you it? I'll be sure to
keep him above deck.

MISTRESS PAGE
So will I. If he come under my hatches,
I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him. Let's
appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in
his suit, and lead him on with a fine-baited delay till he
hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.

MISTRESS FORD
Nay, I will consent to act any villainy
against him that may not sully the chariness of our
honesty. O that my husband saw this letter! It would
give eternal food to his jealousy.

MISTRESS PAGE
Why, look where he comes, and my good
man too. He's as far from jealousy as I am from giving
him cause – and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable
distance.

MISTRESS FORD
You are the happier woman.

MISTRESS PAGE
Let's consult together against this greasy
knight. Come hither.
They retire
Enter Ford with Pistol, and Page with Nym

FORD
Well, I hope it be not so.

PISTOL
Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs.
Sir John affects thy wife.

FORD
Why, sir, my wife is not young.

PISTOL
He woos both high and low, both rich and poor,
Both young and old, one with another, Ford.
He loves the gallimaufry. Ford, perpend.

FORD
Love my wife?

PISTOL
With liver burning hot. Prevent. Or go thou
Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels.
O, odious is the name!

FORD
What name, sir?

PISTOL
The horn, I say. Farewell.
Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by night.
Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.
Away, Sir Corporal Nym!
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
Exit

FORD
(aside)
I will be patient. I will find out this.

NYM
(to Page)
And this is true. I like not the humour of
lying. He hath wronged me in some humours. I should
have borne the humoured letter to her, but I have a
sword and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your
wife. There's the short and the long. My name is
Corporal Nym. I speak, and I avouch 'tis true. My name
is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu. I love not
the humour of bread and cheese – and there's the
humour of it. Adieu.
Exit

PAGE
‘ The humour of it,’ quoth'a! Here's a fellow frights
English out of his wits.

FORD
(aside)
I will seek out Falstaff.

PAGE
(aside)
I never heard such a drawling, affecting
rogue.

FORD
(aside)
If I do find it – well.

PAGE
(aside)
I will not believe such a Cataian, though the
priest o'th' town commended him for a true man.

FORD
(aside)
'Twas a good sensible fellow – well.
Mistress Page and Mistress Ford come forward

PAGE
How now, Meg?

MISTRESS PAGE
Whither go you, George? Hark you.
They speak aside

MISTRESS FORD
How now, sweet Frank, why art thou
melancholy?

FORD
I melancholy? I am not melancholy. Get you home,
go.

MISTRESS FORD
Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy
head now. Will you go, Mistress Page?

MISTRESS PAGE
Have with you. – You'll come to dinner,
George?
Enter Mistress Quickly
(Aside to Mistress Ford) Look who comes yonder. She
shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

MISTRESS FORD
(aside to Mistress Page) Trust me, I
thought on her. She'll fit it.

MISTRESS PAGE
You are come to see my daughter Anne?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does
good Mistress Anne?

MISTRESS PAGE
Go in with us and see. We have an
hour's talk with you.
Exeunt Mistress Page, Mistress Ford,
and Mistress Quickly

PAGE
How now, Master Ford?

FORD
You heard what this knave told me, did you not?

PAGE
Yes, and you heard what the other told me?

FORD
Do you think there is truth in them?

PAGE
Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would
offer it. But these that accuse him in his intent towards
our wives are a yoke of his discarded men – very rogues,
now they be out of service.

FORD
Were they his men?

PAGE
Marry, were they.

FORD
I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the
Garter?

PAGE
Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage
toward my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and
what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on
my head.

FORD
I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loath
to turn them together. A man may be too confident. I
would have nothing lie on my head. I cannot be thus
satisfied.
Enter Host

PAGE
Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes.
There is either liquor in his pate or money in his purse
when he looks so merrily. – How now, mine host?

HOST
How now, bully rook? Thou'rt a gentleman.
He turns and calls
Cavaliero justice, I say!
Enter Shallow

SHALLOW
I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and
twenty, good Master Page. Master Page, will you go with
us? We have sport in hand.

HOST
Tell him, cavaliero justice; tell him, bully rook.

SHALLOW
Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir
Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.

FORD
Good mine host o'th' Garter, a word with you.

HOST
What sayest thou, my bully rook?
They go aside

SHALLOW
(to Page)
Will you go with us to behold it?
My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons,
and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for,
believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. Hark, I will
tell you what our sport shall be.
They go aside

HOST
Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest
cavaliero?

FORD
None, I protest. But I'll give you a pottle of burnt
sack to give me recourse to him and tell him my name is
Brook – only for a jest.

HOST
My hand, bully. Thou shalt have egress and
regress. – Said I well? – And thy name shall be Brook.
It is a merry knight. Will you go, Ameers?

SHALLOW
Have with you, mine host.

PAGE
I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his
rapier.

SHALLOW
Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these
times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes,
and I know not what. 'Tis the heart, Master Page;
'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long
sword, I would have made you four tall fellows skip like
rats.

HOST
Here, boys, here, here! Shall we wag?

PAGE
Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than
fight.
Exeunt Host, Shallow, and Page

FORD
Though Page be a secure fool and stands so firmly
on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so
easily. She was in his company at Page's house, and what
they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further
into't, and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff. If I find
her honest, I lose not my labour. If she be otherwise,
'tis labour well bestowed.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Falstaff and Pistol

FALSTAFF
I will not lend thee a penny.

PISTOL
Why then, the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open. –
I will retort the sum in equipage.

FALSTAFF
Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you
should lay my countenance to pawn. I have grated upon
my good friends for three reprieves for you and your
coach-fellow Nym, or else you had looked through the
grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell
for swearing to gentlemen my friends you were good
soldiers and tall fellows. And when Mistress Bridget
lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour thou
hadst it not.

PISTOL
Didst thou not share? Hadst thou not fifteen pence?

FALSTAFF
Reason, you rogue, reason. Thinkest thou
I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more
about me – I am no gibbet for you. Go – a short knife
and a throng – to your manor of Pickt-hatch, go. You'll
not bear a letter for me, you rogue? You stand upon
your honour! Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is
as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour
precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of
God on the left hand and hiding mine honour in my
necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and
yet you, you rogue, will ensconce your rags, your
cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your
bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour!
You will not do it? You!

PISTOL
I do relent. What wouldst thou more of man?
Enter Robin

ROBIN
Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.

FALSTAFF
Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Give your worship good morrow.

FALSTAFF
Good morrow, good wife.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Not so, an't please your worship.

FALSTAFF
Good maid, then.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
I'll be sworn,
As my mother was the first hour I was born.

FALSTAFF
I do believe the swearer. What with me?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Shall I vouchsafe your worship a
word or two?

FALSTAFF
Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchsafe
thee the hearing.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
There is one Mistress Ford – Sir,
I pray, come a little nearer this ways – I myself dwell
with Master Doctor Caius.

FALSTAFF
Well, on. Mistress Ford, you say –

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Your worship says very true – I
pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

FALSTAFF
I warrant thee nobody hears – (indicating
Pistol and Robin) mine own people, mine own people.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Are they so? God bless them and
make them his servants!

FALSTAFF
Well, Mistress Ford – what of her?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Why, sir, she's a good creature.
Lord, Lord, your worship's a wanton! Well, God forgive
you, and all of us, I pray –

FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford – come, Mistress Ford.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Marry, this is the short and the long
of it: you have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis
wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the
court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to
such a canary; yet there has been knights, and lords,
and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant you, coach
after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift, smelling so
sweetly – all musk – and so rushling, I warrant you, in
silk and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such
wine and sugar of the best and the fairest, that would
have won any woman's heart, and, I warrant you, they
could never get an eye-wink of her – I had myself twenty
angels given me this morning, but I defy all angels in
any such sort, as they say, but in the way of honesty –
and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much
as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all, and yet
there has been earls – nay, which is more, pensioners –
but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

FALSTAFF
But what says she to me? Be brief, my good
she-Mercury.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Marry, she hath received your
letter, for the which she thanks you a thousand times,
and she gives you to notify that her husband will be
absence from his house between ten and eleven.

FALSTAFF
Ten and eleven.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Ay, forsooth; and then you may
come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of.
Master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas,
the sweet woman leads an ill life with him – he's a very
jealousy man – she leads a very frampold life with him,
good heart.

FALSTAFF
Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her.
I will not fail her.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Why, you say well. But I have
another messenger to your worship. Mistress Page
hath her hearty commendations to you too; and, let me
tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest
wife, and one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning
nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be
the other. And she bade me tell your worship that her
husband is seldom from home, but she hopes there will
come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a
man. Surely, I think you have charms, la! Yes, in
truth.

FALSTAFF
Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attractions of
my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Blessing on your heart for't!

FALSTAFF
But I pray thee tell me this: has Ford's wife
and Page's wife acquainted each other how they love
me?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
That were a jest indeed! They have
not so little grace, I hope – that were a trick indeed!
But Mistress Page would desire you to send her your
little page, of all loves. Her husband has a marvellous
infection to the little page; and, truly, Master Page is an
honest man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better
life than she does. Do what she will, say what she will,
take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she
list, all is as she will. And, truly, she deserves it; for if
there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
send her your page – no remedy.

FALSTAFF
Why, I will.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Nay, but do so, then – and, look
you, he may come and go between you both. And in any
case have a nay-word, that you may know one another's
mind, and the boy never need to understand anything;
for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness.
Old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say,
and know the world.

FALSTAFF
Fare thee well; commend me to them both.
There's my purse – I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along
with this woman.
Exeunt Mistress Quickly and Robin
This news distracts me.

PISTOL
(aside)
This punk is one of Cupid's carriers.
Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights;
Give fire! She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
Exit

FALSTAFF
Sayest thou so, old Jack? Go thy ways. I'll
make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they
yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense of so
much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank
thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done – so it be fairly done,
no matter.
Enter Bardolph

BARDOLPH
Sir John, there's one Master Brook below
would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with
you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught
of sack.

FALSTAFF
Brook is his name?

BARDOLPH
Ay, sir.

FALSTAFF
Call him in.
Exit Bardolph
Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflows such
liquor. Aha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I
encompassed you? Go to; via!
Enter Bardolph, with Ford disguised as Brook

FORD
Bless you, sir.

FALSTAFF
And you, sir. Would you speak with me?

FORD
I make bold to press with so little preparation upon
you.

FALSTAFF
You're welcome. What's your will? (To
Bardolph) Give us leave, drawer.
Exit Bardolph

FORD
Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much. My
name is Brook.

FALSTAFF
Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance
of you.

FORD
Good Sir John, I sue for yours – not to charge
you – for I must let you understand I think myself in
better plight for a lender than you are, the which hath
something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion;
for they say if money go before, all ways do lie open.

FALSTAFF
Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

FORD
Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me.
If you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for
easing me of the carriage.

FALSTAFF
Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your
porter.

FORD
I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.

FALSTAFF
Speak, good Master Brook. I shall be glad to
be your servant.

FORD
Sir, I hear you are a scholar – I will be brief with
you – and you have been a man long known to me,
though I had never so good means as desire to make
myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to
you wherein I must very much lay open mine own
imperfection. But, good Sir John, as you have one
eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn
another into the register of your own, that I may pass
with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how
easy it is to be such an offender.

FALSTAFF
Very well, sir. Proceed.

FORD
There is a gentlewoman in this town – her husband's
name is Ford.

FALSTAFF
Well, sir.

FORD
I have long loved her, and, I protest to you,
bestowed much on her, followed her with a doting
observance, engrossed opportunities to meet her, fee'd
every slight occasion that could but niggardly give me
sight of her, not only bought many presents to give her
but have given largely to many to know what she would
have given. Briefly, I have pursued her as love hath
pursued me, which hath been on the wing of all
occasions. But whatsoever I have merited – either in my
mind or in my means – meed, I am sure, I have received
none, unless experience be a jewel. That I have
purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to
say this:
‘ Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues,
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.’

FALSTAFF
Have you received no promise of satisfaction
at her hands?

FORD
Never.

FALSTAFF
Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

FORD
Never.

FALSTAFF
Of what quality was your love, then?

FORD
Like a fair house built on another man's ground, so
that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where
I erected it.

FALSTAFF
To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

FORD
When I have told you that, I have told you all.
Some say that though she appear honest to me, yet
in other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that there
is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John,
here is the heart of my purpose: you are a gentleman of
excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great
admittance, authentic in your place and person, generally
allowed for your many warlike, courtlike, and learned
preparations.

FALSTAFF
O, sir!

FORD
Believe it, for you know it. There is money. Spend
it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have. Only give me
so much of your time in exchange of it as to lay an
amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife. Use
your art of wooing, win her to consent to you. If any
man may, you may as soon as any.

FALSTAFF
Would it apply well to the vehemency of your
affection that I should win what you would enjoy?
Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

FORD
O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on
the excellency of her honour that the folly of my soul
dares not present itself. She is too bright to be looked
against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in
my hand, my desires had instance and argument to
commend themselves. I could drive her then from the
ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow,
and a thousand other her defences, which now are too
too strongly embattled against me. What say you to't,
Sir John?

FALSTAFF
Master Brook, I will first make bold with your
money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a
gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.

FORD
O good sir!

FALSTAFF
I say you shall.

FORD
Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.

FALSTAFF
Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you
shall want none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by
her own appointment. Even as you came in to me, her
assistant, or go-between, parted from me. I say I shall
be with her between ten and eleven, for at that time
the jealous rascally knave her husband will be forth.
Come you to me at night, you shall know how I speed.

FORD
I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know
Ford, sir?

FALSTAFF
Hang him, poor cuckoldy knave! I know him
not. Yet I wrong him to call him poor. They say the
jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money, for the
which his wife seems to me well-favoured. I will use
her as the key of the cuckoldy rogue's coffer – and
there's my harvest-home.

FORD
I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid
him if you saw him.

FALSTAFF
Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will
stare him out of his wits. I will awe him with my cudgel;
it shall hang like a meteor o'er the cuckold's horns.
Master Brook, thou shalt know I will predominate over
the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife. Come to
me soon at night. Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate
his style. Thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for
knave and cuckold. Come to me soon at night.
Exit

FORD
What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart
is ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is
improvident jealousy? My wife hath sent to him, the
hour is fixed, the match is made. Would any man have
thought this? See the hell of having a false woman! My
bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation
gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villainous
wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable
terms, and by him that does me this wrong.
Terms! Names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well;
Barbason, well. Yet they are devils' additions, the names
of fiends. But Cuckold! Wittol! – Cuckold! The devil
himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure
ass. He will trust his wife, he will not be jealous. I will
rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the
Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my
aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding,
than my wife with herself. Then she plots, then she
ruminates, then she devises. And what they think in
their hearts they may effect, they will break their
hearts but they will effect. God be praised for my
jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour. I will prevent this,
detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at
Page. I will about it. Better three hours too soon than a
minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! Cuckold, cuckold, cuckold!
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Doctor Caius and Rugby

CAIUS
Jack Rugby!

RUGBY
Sir.

CAIUS
Vat is the clock, Jack?

RUGBY
'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised
to meet.

CAIUS
By gar, he has save his soul dat he is no come. He
has pray his Pible well dat he is no come. By gar, Jack
Rugby, he is dead already if he be come.

RUGBY
He is wise, sir. He knew your worship would kill
him if he came.

CAIUS
By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him.
Take your rapier, Jack. I vill tell you how I vill kill him.

RUGBY
Alas, sir, I cannot fence.

CAIUS
Villainy, take your rapier.

RUGBY
Forbear. Here's company.
Enter Host, Shallow, Slender, and Page

HOST
Bless thee, bully doctor!

SHALLOW
Save you, Master Doctor Caius!

PAGE
Now, good Master Doctor!

SLENDER
Give you good morrow, sir.

CAIUS
Vat be you all, one, two, tree, four, come for?

HOST
To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee
traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there, to see thee
pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance,
thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? Is he dead,
my Francisco? Ha, bully? What says my Aesculapius?
My Galen? My heart of elder? Ha? Is he dead, bully
stale? Is he dead?

CAIUS
By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld. He
is not show his face.

HOST
Thou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of
Greece, my boy!

CAIUS
I pray you bear witness that me have stay six or
seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.

SHALLOW
He is the wiser man, Master Doctor. He is a
curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies. If you should
fight, you go against the hair of your professions. Is it
not true, Master Page?

PAGE
Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great
fighter, though now a man of peace.

SHALLOW
Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old
and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches
to make one. Though we are justices and doctors and
churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our
youth in us. We are the sons of women, Master Page.

PAGE
'Tis true, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
It will be found so, Master Page. Master
Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am
sworn of the peace. You have showed yourself a wise
physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and
patient churchman. You must go with me, Master
Doctor.

HOST
Pardon, guest justice. – A word, Mounseur
Mockwater.

CAIUS
Mockvater? Vat is dat?

HOST
Mockwater, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.

CAIUS
By gar, then I have as much mockvater as de
Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! By gar, me vill cut
his ears.

HOST
He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.

CAIUS
Clapper-de-claw? Vat is dat?

HOST
That is, he will make thee amends.

CAIUS
By gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me,
for, by gar, me vill have it.

HOST
And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.

CAIUS
Me tank you for dat.

HOST
And moreover, bully, – (Aside to the others) But
first, Master guest, and Master Page, and eke Cavaliero
Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore.

PAGE
Sir Hugh is there, is he?

HOST
He is there. See what humour he is in; and I will
bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?

SHALLOW
We will do it.

PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER
Adieu, good master
Doctor.
Exeunt

CAIUS
By gar, me vill kill de priest, for he speak for a
jackanape to Anne Page.

HOST
Let him die. Sheathe thy impatience; throw cold
water on thy choler. Go about the fields with me
through Frogmore. I will bring thee where Mistress
Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a-feasting; and thou shalt
woo her. Cried game? Said I well?

CAIUS
By gar, me dank you vor dat. By gar, I love you,
and I shall procure-a you de good guest – de earl, de
knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.

HOST
For the which I will be thy adversary toward
Anne Page. Said I well?

CAIUS
By gar, 'tis good. Vell said.

HOST
Let us wag, then.

CAIUS
Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL